easter island moai statues

Easter Island Post-Eclipse Extension

Treasures in the Remote Pacific

This extension is exclusively for participants in the Total Solar Eclipse of 2020: Lakes to Volcanoes Eclipse Adventure special event.


Go in search of the secrets of far-flung Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, an open-air archaeological museum of a fascinating but vanished Polynesian culture. Called Te Pito O Te Henua—The Navel of the World—by early settlers, this isolated isle of mystery is more than 2,000 miles from the nearest population center. Celebrated for its huge, enigmatic stone moai, Rapa Nui has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. Your explorations include dramatic Tongariki, the largest ceremonial site in Polynesia, Rano Raraku, the volcanic area where most of the moai were quarried, plus the petroglyphs of Orongo, center of the Birdman Cult.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1, Dec 15, 2020
Santiago, Chile

Transfer from the airport in Santiago to your hotel. Overnight at Hotel Solace…meals on your own.

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Day 2, Dec 16, 2020
Santiago / Easter Island

After breakfast, transfer to the airport in Santiago for your flight to Mataveri. Arrive at Mataveri International Airport on Easter Island where you are met for a transfer to the hotel. Overnight at Altiplanico Rapa Nui…B

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Day 3, Dec 17, 2020
Akahanga / Tongariki / Rano Raraku / Anakena Beach

Your full-day tour begins with a visit to the cave dwellings and moai platforms of Akahanga, a large ahu (shrine) with four fallen statues. Continue to Tongariki, formerly the biggest platform on the island, with its rich remains of cairns and tombs. In 1960, a tidal wave sent the 15 colossal Tongariki moai—some of which weigh 30 tons—hundreds of feet inland. The ahu, the largest on Easter Island, was effectively destroyed, and was restored by a team of archaeologists in the 1990s. Later, visit Rano Raraku quarry, a classic symbol of the island and original factory of the moais. The gigantic statues lie scattered over the hillsides and can be seen in the different stages of production. Afterwards, drive along the north coast past La Perouse Bay to the beautiful beach at Anakena, where King Hotu Matua made land, accompanied by the first Polynesian settlers. Return to Altiplanico Rapa Nui for overnight. Dinner on your own...BL

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Day 4, Dec 18, 2020
Orongo / Rano Kau / Ahu Akivi / Puna Pau

A half-day morning tour begins with a visit to Orongo, the ceremonial site for the Birdman Cult, whose 53 stone houses are set right by the circular crater of Rano Kau, the island’s southernmost volcano. The Birdman Cult emerged after the collapse of the Moai Culture, and was focused on fertility rites and the Birdman competition. The site is full of petroglyphs representing Tangata Manu (Bird Man) and the god Make-Make. From the volcano, views stretch across most of Easter Island as well as to its reed-covered lake. On the western slopes are impressive views of the islets Moto Nui, Motu Iti and Motu Kao-Kao. During the ceremony of the Birdman Cult held at Orongo, one young man per clan swam out to the motus to climb and steal the first swallow’s egg of the year. The winning clan was allowed to nominate Rapa Nui’s king for the following year. Return to the hotel for lunch on your own. In the afternoon, explore Ahu Tahai (“where the sun hides”), located north of Hanga Roa on the coast. The three restored moais overlook the island with their backs to the sea. One of them is Ko Te Riku, the only moai with eyes made of white coral and black obsidian. Afterwards, visit Ahu Akivi, one of the few ahus not located by the sea. Its seven resurrected moais are set according to the equinox, which indicates the advanced knowledge of astronomy once known on Rapa Nui. Your final stop is the Puna Pau quarry, where the red stone headdresses set on many moai were produced. Return to Altiplanico Rapa Nui for overnight. Dinner on your own...B

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Day 5, Dec 19, 2020
Santiago / Depart

Transfer to Mataveri International Airport for your flight to Santiago and homeward...B

You are responsible for booking your own internal flights to Easter Island and back to Santiago for this extension. LATAM is the only airline currently operating this route, and they typically have two flights a day. These flights may only operate five days a week at certain times of the year, but at this time there are flights on our scheduled dates.


We suggest the flight from Santiago to Easter Island that typically departs at 9:30 am and arrives at 12:45 pm, to avoid the very early morning flight at 6:30 am and to arrive later in the day with a free afternoon. For the return to Santiago we suggest the flight which typically departs at 11:45 am and arrives at 6:25 pm, as the second flight which departs at 3:00 pm arrives in Santiago too late to connect with homeward bound international flights.


Meeting Place:
Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Chile
Date: Dec 16, 2020

Suggested Airport for
Mataveri International Airport, Chile (IPC)
Suggested arrival time: late morning
Santiago, Chile
Date: Dec 19, 2020

Suggested Airport for Departure:

Santiago, Chile (SCL)
Suggested departure time: evening


Length: 5 days
Cost From: $1390  
Arrive: Easter Island, Chile
Depart: Easter Island, Chile
Lodging: 4 nights in hotel
Meals: All meals as indicated
Activity: Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

Cultural explorations and walking tours

Visa Requirements

A visa is not required for US citizens visting Chile, but there is a Reciprocity Fee that must be paid upon arrival.